Foodies rejoice: Slurping Turtle, a new Japanese restaurant, expected to open in the spring near campus.
Takashi Yagihashi, a nationally renowned chef, will open the noodle restaurant in the former Borders building on East Liberty and Maynard Streets.
The menu will include hot and cold appetizers like sashimi, maki rolls and duck fat fried chicken, assorted types of ramen, bento boxes and rice bowls.
Prices for ramen will range from $13 to $14 and bento boxes — which contain a variation of different foods — cost about $18.
Yagihashi, who was a guest contestant on Iron Chef America, runs two restaurants, Takashi and the original Slurping Turtle, both in Chicago. Through Slurping Turtle, Takashi hopes to recreate some of his favorite Japanese comfort foods and bring the same experience to the guests, according to the restaurant’s website.
Slurping Turtle will open alongside Knight’s Steakhouse, Huntington National Bank and Sweetwater’s Coffee & Tea, subdividing the previous Borders building into four separate venues. Knight’s Steakhouse will tentatively open in March and Huntington National Bank is already open.
Tomukun Noodle Bar, a similar restaurant, is also located on East Liberty Street, just down the block from Slurping Turtle. As both restaurants feature variations on ramen, the two will likely compete for business.
Tomukun’s prices will be lower than Slurping Turtle by a few dollars on average. Additionally, Tomukun’s menu adds a Korean fusion to the recipes while Slurping Turtle is more heavily influenced by Japanese flavors.
Some students are skeptical about Slurping Turtle’s chances of success, as its main customers will be students on a budget and many are already comfortable with Tomukun.
While some students are skeptical of the how successful Slurping Turtle will be due to its high prices, others said they are willing to try the new eatery.
LSA sophomore David Chang said he is more concerned with pricing over other factors. He added that he is unsure if many students would go to Slurping Turtle if it is higher priced than competitors.
“Honestly, I don’t really know because I have to see what the Slurping Turtle is like so it depends but I guess there might be some competition if there are two ramen shops,” Chang said.
LSA senior Jenny Kim said she was unsure about the new restaurant’s future success, citing higher prices as a factor that might make it more difficult for the restaurant to become established in the Asian fusion market.
“Seating and waiting is a big thing so maybe if it’s a little more spacious then people will want to go there,” Kim said. “I think that everyone wants to try new things so I think it would be good.”
Other students think the location of Slurping Turtle might also be problematic for its long-term prospects.
LSA senior Lauren Himmel said she thinks the fate of Slurping Turtle could be similar to that of Firehouse Subs, which was located close to many similar restaurants. Firehouse Subs closed earlier this year after 10 months in business.
“I think that it would do better if it were to be located on South (University) and so students who are looking for the same kind of feel or want the same kind of type of food would be able to access it from that kind of area instead of having to walk all the way across campus,” she said.